The Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH), in partnership with Local Land Services (LLS), manages the implementation of the Native Vegetation Act 2003 and Native Vegetation Regulation 2013. Information for landholders on the current requirements is available.
The NSW Government is reforming native vegetation management in NSW. We recognise the need to strike the right balance between sustainable agriculture and protecting the environment. This involves:
- a comprehensive review of the legislative framework for threatened species and native vegetation management in New South Wales
- the introduction of new Native Vegetation Regulation 2013 last year to streamline existing clearing controls
- introducing new codes of practice for vegetation clearing, including self-assessable codes of practice for certain low-risk clearing activities
- a review of the methodology used to assess clearing proposals to streamline the assessment process for Property Vegetation Plans.
Biodiversity legislation review
The Minister for the Environment has appointed an independent panel to undertake a comprehensive review of the Native Vegetation Act 2003, Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995, and related biodiversity legislation.
The current legislative framework has become overly complex and process driven. The current laws do not deliver balanced outcomes across the NSW Government’s environmental, social and economic objectives.
This review aims to establish simpler, streamlined and more effective legislation that will:
- facilitate the conservation of biological diversity
- support sustainable development
- reduce red tape.
The independent panel will provide an interim report to the Minister for the Environment by October 2014, with the final report to be provided by December 2014. More details on the review are available.
2013 Regulation - new ways of managing native vegetation
The new Native Vegetation Regulation 2013 (the Regulation) commenced on 23 September 2013. A number of provisions have already been introduced, including:
new or expanded exemptions to clear native vegetation without a property vegetation plan (PVP)
the common-sense decision to declare that yellow mimosa, a feral native species, can be cleared without approvals.
Self-assessable codes of practice for certain low-risk clearing activities will be implemented this year, in some cases replacing the need for a PVP.
The existing clearing rules remain in place until the new self-assessable codes are finalised.
Review of the environmental outcomes assessment methodology
The environmental outcomes assessment methodology (EOAM) used to assess clearing proposals for PVPs is being reviewed to streamline the assessment process. It will be placed on exhibition later this year for public comment.
Additional codes of practice are also planned for drafting and exhibition later this year.